Thursday, May 10, 2007

Annual Event...

It's an annual event here at the farm. There's no tea to be served, no crumpets to consume, rather we celebrate it in our rubber boots behind closed gates.

The event I'm talking about is the annual 'Pasturing of the Dairy Cows'.

You see, during the winter months, (from approximately November to April) the cows are kept inside the barn, neatly tied to their area, with a cozy straw bed. They get to run around in the barn yard after milkings and they come in after they've eaten their silage and had some fresh air. They are quite content to come back into the warm barn during these snowy months.

But when the grass turns green, it becomes a whole different story. They know....they can see the grass through the gates, and they want it. Badly.

Sometimes it can prove difficult to get them to come back into the barn when it's a lovely day, they don't realize the frost is still thick in the evenings of March and sometimes April. Eventually, they make their way back in, trying their best to avoid their beds, racing about the alley ways of the barn...ultimately agreeing that Farmer knows best and settling in for the night.

On our farm we pasture the cows during the summer months, those light rains get them clean, the hay is prolific, making for ample milk supply, and they are just plain happy. Sometimes in the beginning of their pasturing period, their milk is even tinted green. Just like the Chicago river on St. Patty's Day. It's from the consumption of that nice green grass.

Yesterday was their lucky day.

Unbeknownst to the herd...The Hubs was preparing for their big moment. The family was out and about yesterday in the Gator and Pick-up truck, checking the fence lines and making sure the field was sound for the animals to run amuck.

After everything was given the a-ok and the evening milking was complete, the Hubs put the kids and I behind a closed gate that had a great vantage point of the event.

He undid the wire fence that held them in the barnyard, and that led to the pasture.

They couldn't believe their shiny black eyes, it was indeed time. As one cow realized what this meant, she charged past the Hubs and galloped her way to the great green sea. The others were then alerted to the happenings, and then it started.

They get beside themselves with glee. They throw caution to the wind and act like jail birds on the run....


The udders were flapping, the tails were held high in the air, they kicked up their back legs and hopped about. Some even got a little ahead of themselves and their legs went out from beneath them. But they were right back up again, trotting to freedom. They would run in a stampede back and forth, back and forth, the dust clouds pluming up behind them. They made high pitched moo's and let out all pent up gas that had been brewing. It was a sight to behold.

This is when you start to worry about them running through the fence lines, but last night had no extra work involved, they remained safe in their designated areas.

Soon enough there will be too much of a good thing, and they'll all be bloated up with over consumption of hay. They'll lay down lazily in the green pasture, chewing their cud, tossing looks of contentment to their Farmer ... and his Wife.


TeaMouse said...

I absolutely loved this story! I love cows and I loved hearing about their excitement for the green grass.

You painted sucha good picture, I could actually see them frolicking and getting excited when they realized they were getting to go out to the grass.

How many milking cows do you own?

Marianne said...

Great blog!! Good to meet you! Just wanted to drop a line of encouragement for you in the May Day Challenge. You can do it! Blessings as you embark this week!

CoachJ said...

I would love to see that! And I know my hubby would, too.

Mandalyn said...

I wish I could've have been their to see that!! It sounds so wonderful to watch!!

Mary said...

What a fun post! I can relate because we raise horses and just love turning them out to pasture for the summer!

Pam said...

My favorite part was the part about the flapping udders! Tee-hee!